Accident Database

Report ID# 3851

  • Impact/Trauma
  • Head Injury / Concussion
  • Inexperience
  • Poor Planning

Accident Description

By Sean Welsh and Colin Campbell, The Baltimore Sun

 June 30, 2014

One patient was released from hospital care and another was in stable condition at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Monday, after the two fell 200 feet off Prettyboy Dam in northern Baltimore County this weekend, police said.

It was not clear whether the men, in their early 20s, were hiking or kayaking before the fall, Baltimore Environmental Police Officer Heidi Greenleaf said, but alcohol was a factor in the incident.

The men were not identified. The one who was released from York General Hospital had a broken left arm and head injuries, and the other remained hospitalized at Shock Trauma Monday with a severe head injury, possible broken bones and internal injuries, Greenleaf said.

Baltimore County crews were dispatched to the spillway at the reservoir at 7:25 p.m. Sunday, according to Baltimore County police spokesman Cpl. John Wachter.

The second man had to be carried in a basket up a flight of 100 steps to a spot where he could be evacuated, Greenleaf said. The technical rescue, by the environmental police; the Maryland Line Volunteer Fire Company and EMS; Hereford Volunteer Fire Company; and Baltimore County EMS, took more than 2 hours, she said.

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 Two kayakers attempted to run 200' high Prettyboy Dam. The first kayaker (Hare) suffered a large head laceration, was hospitalized, but released the next day. The second kayaker (Sparks) suffered a severe head injury that required that he be rescued via a stokes basket, carried up steep cliff-side stairs, and flown by helicopter to Maryland Shock Trauma. It was unclear whether the men were purposely attempting to go over the dam, or did so accidentally, but that alcohol played a factor. The two men were charged with criminal trespass.



Two kayakers at Prettyboy charged; Police say the men went over the face of the dam

July 02, 2014|By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun

Two kayakers who were injured after falling 200 feet over the face of the dam at Prettyboy Reservoir have been charged with trespassing. Paul K. Hare, 22, and Stephen D. Sparks, 21, both of Parkton, are charged with criminal trespassing and face $1,000 fines and one year in jail, said the Baltimore Environmental Police, which patrol the reservoir.

"All things considered, they were lucky," said Officer Heidi Greenleaf with Baltimore Environmental Police. She said she could not recall a similar incident where boaters attempted to go over the dam.

Greenleaf said it is unclear whether the men were purposely attempting to go over the dam, or did so accidentally, but that alcohol played a factor.

Hare suffered a large head laceration and was taken to York General Hospital in Pennsylvania. He was released the next day. Sparks suffered a severe head injury, and remained at University of Maryland Shock Trauma on Wednesday.

Greenleaf and other first responders found the men around 7:30 p.m. near the base of the dam. Sparks was put in a stokes basket and carried up steep cliff-side stairs, and flown to Shock Trauma by Maryland state police helicopter. The rescue took about two and half hours, police said.

Police said they were in a no trespass zone and had been boating without permits.

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